States Spar Over Redistricting Maps

Several states still had unresolved redistricting maps as midterm elections loomed in November. Congressional districts are redrawn after every decennial census and might determine which party controls the House of Representatives next January.

The legislatures are tasked in most states with redistricting, but an increasing number have established commissions to draw more representative districts. Commissions, however, have not succeeded in removing all partisanship from the mapmaking process.

Why did New York disregard the proposed maps of the redistricting commission?

INSTRUCTORS: click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Videos:

News Articles:

How redistricting is shaping the 2022 U.S. House map

Washington Post

2/5/22

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/interactive/redistricting-tracker-map/

North Carolina Supreme Court strikes down redistricting maps

ABC News

2/4/22

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/north-carolina-supreme-court-strikes-redistricting-maps-82683576

Looming midterm elections have states grappling over redistricting maps

Fox News

2/4/22

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/looming-midterm-elections-states-redistricting-maps

Challenges likely to Pa. legislative maps approved by redistricting panel

York Dispatch

2/5/22

https://www.yorkdispatch.com/story/news/local/pennsylvania/2022/02/05/challenges-likely-pa-legislative-maps-approved-redistricting-panel/6675078001/

News Articles (Analyses):

Michigan Supreme Court dismisses Voting Rights Act challenge of redistricting maps

The Detroit News

2/3/22

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2022/02/03/michigan-supreme-court-dismisses-voting-rights-act-detroit-caucus-challenge-redistricting-maps/6657532001/

Gov. Laura Kelly rejects Republican-authored congressional maps, setting up redistricting showdown

Topeka Capital-Journal

2/4/22

https://www.yahoo.com/news/gov-laura-kelly-rejects-republican-233557579.html

What Redistricting Looks Like In Every State

Fivethirtyeight

2/5/22

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/redistricting-2022-maps/

‘Taking the Voters Out of the Equation’: How the Parties Are Killing Competition

New York Times

2/6/22

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2022/02/04/New-Jersey-Redistricting-maps/3031643957681/

Assessment:

Writing: Explain why more states have not established independent commissions to handle redistricting. Will the problems encountered by New York’s bipartisan independent redistricting commission hinder efforts in other states?

Debate: Should courts generally defer to state legislatures on redistricting maps?

Poll: Should gerrymandering be abolished?

Short Answer: Describe how gerrymandered maps can decrease voter turnout?

QUIZ:

On what grounds did the North Carolina Supreme Court invalidate the redistricting maps approved by the Republican- led legislature?

  1. the maps were submitted too late
  2. the maps were not beneficial enough to Republicans
  3. the maps deprived voters of their “substantially equal voting power on the basis of partisan affiliation,”
  4. the maps were drawn using software from an unauthorized vendor

What did Republicans in the Kansas Legislature plan to do after Governor Laura Kelly vetoed their redistricting maps?

  1. appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court
  2. draw new maps that would earn the governor’s approval
  3. override the governor’s veto
  4. run a Republican challenger in the next gubernatorial election

Why did the Detroit legislative caucus challenge Michigan’s redistricting maps?

  1. it decreased majority-minority districts
  2. it made Detroit significantly more Republican
  3. the commission relied on significant input from the public
  4. the maps were drawn before census information was released

Gerrymandering tends benefit the Republican Party. (T/F)

Redistricting must be completed every ten years. (T/F)

The proposed New York redistricting maps would substantially increase Democratic strength in the state. (T/F)

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